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What treadmill incline best simulates outdoor running?

asked almost 5 years ago | Report

I just started running yesterday and my goal is to run a 5k in May. I'm a spring and summer guy and won't even think about running outside unless it's 60 degs or above. I'd like to make sure I'm training on the treadmill properly so that I can make the transition to outdoor running late next month without any setbacks. Any advice you have for me would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  • I think I read in Runners World something like 1.5-2.0 incline but don't quote me on that. I am sure if you did some digging on the Runners World website you could probably find it. Good luck on your first 5k!

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • I do 90% of my training on the treadmill and have no problem transitioning to outdoors. I have run some of my best races because of my training on the treadmill. I run with a 1% incline, but I also do alot random on it as well. What I mean is that sometimes I will run at a 8:30 mile but might have it on a 5 incline for about 2 minutes or I might just do speed work and use a 0% incline. You have to mess around with it and find what is comfortable for you, but always do something different. Change speed or incline every minute just to keep from getting bored. Also research treadmill training and experiment with them.

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • This topic is debatable. I agree with Scott's approach by changing it up a bit. I do most of my work on a TM because of the cold. The truth is...running on a treadmill is just different than running outside. There is no 'magic incline' that will make it the same. Also...running at a constant incline on the TM leads to overuse injuries and possibly back problems. I vary the incline...anywhere from 0-3, changing a few times during the run. Try to get outside when you are able, so you can get that experience at least a couple of times before the 5K!! By the way...I'm not a fan of the cold weather either, but I was running in a T-shirt at 45 degrees this weekend & it felt good....you'll be surprised how much your body warms up during a run. Good luck to you!

    answered almost 5 years ago |edited almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • I'm constantly referring back to this chart.

    http://www.hillrunner.com/training/tmillchart.php

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • I heard it was like at least 1%

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • I go with 2%, but that's just the base. Like others had mentioned, it's good to switch it up. So throughout the run I'll try to increase the % for varying amounts of time and then drop it back down to 2% to "rest".

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • According to this, my guess of 2% was high:

    http://runnersconnect.net/running-training-articles/treadmill-vs-running-outside/

    There's a little more info there comparing a treadmill to running outside, including a way to simulate downhill running. Although I imagine that most gyms would frown upon that, haha.

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • I vary my incline between 0-5. No real reason except trying to mix it up. Some literature recommends 1.5-2 incline to help get a similar forward lean to outdoor running but the will not allow for the increase of foot strike impact with outdoor running or things like wind resistance. Best advice...use the treadmill as a necessity but get outside as soon as possible. It is the best!

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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